Update on Bahamas

Dear Friends, We just received the following from the Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club:

“TO: All Members – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – In a meeting with Customs Officer Forbes in Marsh Harbour on July 14, 2003, the following answers were received, reviewed and approved concerning the new Customs fees and procedures.

  • A cruising permit is normally issued for 12 months.

  • You cannot leave the Bahamas during that period and return on the same cruising permit. You must check in again and pay the published fees.

  • Fees for entering the Bahamas…$150 for all vessels under 35 feet and $300 for vessels 35.1 feet or greater. $150 for dinghys/tenders over 18 feet.

  • The above fees cover the CAptain and 3 crew members. Any additional crew members over 6 years old must pay $15 per person. Your fishing license for three months is included. If you wish to extend your fishing license it is an additional $150 for 12 months. Also included is a $15 exit/departure fee for four individuals.

  • For those of you that keep your boat here for more than one year it will cost you $500 per year for the next two years. You can do that for a max of two years and then you must eith leave the Bahamas or “duty in” your vessel. The cost of duty on your vessel is 27% under 30 feet and 6% for 30.1 feet or greater.

  • In addition to the paperwork you now submit when entering the Bahamas, Customs Officers will now require the ORIGINAL of your State Registration or Coast Guard Documentation to be submitted with your application and a copy of same. They will return the original but will retain the copy for their records. They require that the copy show the names of the vessel and the length. Since some of the Customs Offices may not have a copy machine I strongly recommend that you make several copies and bring them with you.

  • You should always ask the Customs Officer for a receipt for monies paid. You will not need to pay your exit/departure fee of $15 at the airport if you need to fly out of the country on an emergency or if one of your crew members goes home. Be sure and bring the receipt and a copy of your cruising permit to the airport with you.. In the event the officer does not have a receipt book withthem you can go to th Customs office in Marsh Harbour, at the new port facility and they will give you one.

  • Overtime….there are NO overtime charges for weekend Customs clearance.

  • This information covers the Abacos and is supposed to be standardized for ALL of the Bahamas.

Don Van Beck, Commodore, Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club”

Please read the above carefully, especially about the extra documentation. Suggest that you also make copies of dinghy registration as well as mother boat. Transportation fees were not asked about at the time, but we were told by another source later, that those fees might be levied at the discretion of the officer clearing you in if he uses his personal vehicle and travels to your location. A boat clearing in at Marsh Harbour was charged $35 transportation fee on a Saturday.

Info on West End (Old Bahama Bay Club)charges: 35′ minimum. Weekdays $1.65 ft pd, Weekends (Fri & Sat night) $1.95 ft pd, $18 electricity, $10 water per day used or not. Can anchor in turning basin for $25 per day, includes amenities.

That’s the news for now.

Cindy & Art, S/V Gypsy Jean